I'm looking to translate a sentence like:

Clowns have attacked old people, wet dogs and three-legged elephants by raising taxes, distributing poison blankets, spreading false rumors and soiling our clothing.

In English the list of "methods" is separated from the list of "goals" by the preposition "by".

How does Spanish handle a sentence like this?

I have

...elefantes de tres patas aumentando los impuestos...

But it seems unclear that aumentando applies to the clowns.

  • 1
    – jacobo
    Dec 27 '18 at 23:02
  • Nice! So it would be ...elefantes de tres patas mediante aumentando los impuestos...?
    – MikeiLL
    Dec 28 '18 at 0:35
  • 1
    ...elefantes de tres patas mediante un aumento de los impuestos..., perhaps
    – Patricio
    Dec 28 '18 at 8:42

I think it is a fair translation.
In Spanish, the verb "atacar" when used with alive entities is usually followed by the preposition "a" ("I've attacked Rome" → "He atacado Roma" but "I've attacked Caesar" → "He atacado a César"), so it'd be even more clear than in English:

Los payasos han atacado a ancianos, a perros mojados y a elefantes de tres patas aumentando los impuestos, distribuyendo mantas envenenadas, extendiendo falsos rumores y ensuciando nuestras ropas.

As written, I think it is very clear who's attacking, who's being attacked, and how.


A simple approach (although there's nothing wrong with the longer one):

Han atacado a los ancianos con aumentos de impuestos, etc.


The most correct translate might be:

Los elefantes de tres patas por el aumento de los impuestos, distribución mantas envenenadas, extendiendo falsos rumores y ensuciando nuestro ropaje

"By" can translate as "por" or "mediante" but the context Is important when you have a subject is "por" Ex: Written by David

"Escrito por David".

But If you have an action Is "mediante" Ex: This was achived by the force

"Esto se consiguió mediante la fuerza"

  • 2
    En desacuerdo, aunque no voy a dejar voto negativo. Quizá deberías traducir el texto completo. Creo que "mediante" funciona mejor que "por en este contexto: "Los X han atacado a los A, B y C mediante el aumento de los impuestos, etc." y habría que explicarle al OP esa custión del final "it seems unclear that aumentando applies to the clowns"
    – Diego
    Dec 28 '18 at 14:41
  • 1
    Did you forget to include a main verb? Jan 1 '19 at 5:30

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